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Three points are underlined in order to criticize the naïve point of view defended by cognitivists when they try to rationally explain the existence of what they consider as a system of irrational beliefs, i.e. religion in general and Christianity in particular : (i) Christianity unveils the hidden core of all the religions of humanity and the collective killing of an innocent victim makes it its central theme ; (ii) religion in general is an activity practiced by a group and not a system of beliefs spreading from one brain to another thanks to representations. It is precisely this mistake concerning the transcendant nature of all collective activities which leads cognitivists astray when they study religion; (iii) religious ritual is an attempt to perform the violation of prohibitions in order to contain their anarchistic appearance in society. The article shows nevertheless that the contemporary generalisation of the notion of a victim in the name of which crimes become committed is perhaps the end of a certain vision of Christianity.
Pour citer cet article :Dupuy Jean-Pierre (2008/3). Religion: Naturalism or Supernaturalism? In Lassègue Jean (Eds), Religion and Cognition, Intellectica, 50, (pp.39-60), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2008.1227.